Blog January 9, 2023

How to Check if a Moving Company Is Legitimate?

Posted in How-to
Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

Relocating to another city is a big decision, and it’s one that comes with a lot of planning. One of the first orders of business is finding a moving company that you can trust to transport your belongings safely. With so many options out there, how can you be sure if this is legit? Here is how to check if a moving company is legitimate.

There are many ways you can avoid relocation scammers and check if the company you wish to hire is legit. The most important thing is to see if the firm is registered with the Department of Transportation and whether it has all the necessary licenses. Aside from that, there are other things you can check before you choose state-to-state movers. Here is what you need to know.

How to Check if a Moving Company Is Legitimate? Ask Friends

The choice is made when you’re moving interstate, and you are likely considering or putting your house up for sale. But before you begin making any arrangements, you must locate professional movers. You would want your belongings to be in trustworthy hands because moving to another state is not a simple task. How do you choose the appropriate mover when there are about 7,000 movers in existence but probably even more fraudsters?

Friends are a great resource for recommendations when it comes to moving companies. Check if any of your close friends have relocated recently. Ask them about their experience with the company, whether they were happy with the service, and if they would recommend them. Also, you can write on your social media channels that you are planning to relocate to a new state and that you are looking for recommendations. You don’t have to opt for any of the recommended long-distance moving services providers, but you can book an interview with them.

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See if Company Has an Online Presence

One of the first things on your relocation checklist should be to search for reputable movers. And thankfully, with the help of the internet, you can find almost anything. If you come across some names for movers you got from friends, first check online if a company has a website or social media pages.

Of course, legitimate companies can operate without a website, but these instances are so uncommon in modern companies that it is usually best to avoid them. A website is not sufficient evidence of a legitimate service provider, though. More information will need to be found online. Even without a website, you can still conduct online research on a firm. Look for concerns about that specific organization on forums, Reddit, and Quora.

Read All the Reviews You Can Find

When you have a list of potential moving companies, it’s time to start researching them. One of the best ways to do this is to read reviews from prior customers. You can find these on company websites and third-party review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List. Pay close attention to how the company responds to negative reviews and how often the reviews are updated. If there are hardly any reviews or they seem outdated, it’s a good sign that the company might not be reliable.

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Always Pick a Company That Is Licensed

Even if you are relocating at the last minute, never go with a company that is not licensed. This may seem like the cheapest way to relocate, but in the end, you will end up paying way more.  When choosing a moving company, make sure you pick one that is both licensed and insured. This means that the company has gone through the proper channels to register with a local government, and they have also taken out insurance to cover any losses or damages during transit.

A reputable moving company will also provide proof of licenses and insurance when requested. This will help ensure that your belongings are safe and secure during the move to a new state.

Here Are All the Steps You Need to Take To See if the Company Is Working According to Law

As we have mentioned above, all companies must work according to the law, and hiring a licensed company is the best way to ensure you are not working with scammers. Especially if you are relocating for the first time and don’t have any experience with interstate moving companies following steps should be your top priority on your to-do list:

  • USDOT number – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, mandates that all businesses engaged in interstate transportation must have a USDOT number. In addition to federal numbers, some states demand that anybody registering a business vehicle for moving state-to-state must have USDOT Number.
  • Better Business Bureau – The BBB is an organization that compiles comments and grievances against every company in the USA. Check to see if your potential workers are American Moving & Storage Association members as well.
  • Moving insurance – Every moving company must have insurance to protect their customers in case of any accidents or damage, according to FMCSA. Make sure to ask for proof of insurance before hiring movers. This will help protect you from any potential damages or accidents that may occur during the move

How to Check if a Moving Company Is Legitimate? Evaluate Their Professionalism

Relocating to a new city or state is a complicated process, and you would want to hire someone you can rely on. The last thing you need is someone sloppy to do this job. So when choosing a company, it is important to evaluate their professionalism. This includes looking at their website, reviews, and testimonials which we have mentioned above. A professional moving company will have a well-designed website with all the information you need and also good reviews from past customers. Testimonials can be found on the company’s website or elsewhere online. Beware of companies that do not have any reviews or testimonials.

The next thing to do is to contact the companies you choose and ask them for a free quote. If they don’t provide free quotes, you can skip them right away.

Free consultations will be your first interaction with them, and as everyone is aware, first impressions are crucial. If you suspect that you are working with novices who lack experience, you should give up right away. Why would you want to cooperate with folks who are disrespectful and unpleasant to talk to? Additionally, you should avoid them if you ask them for advice on packing and they have no idea what you’re talking about. Your encounter won’t likely be good if they don’t seem to have been doing this for a while and don’t have a professional demeanor.

Two state-to-state movers carrying box and rug
First impressions are crucial in your evaluation

You Need to Understand All Terms and Conditions

When organizing a move, the biggest relocation mistake people make is to sign a contract they don’t fully understand. People are often shy and don’t ask many questions to their agents, which leads to them signing a contract they don’t understand and eventually feeling like they have been scammed. However, a professional service provider will ensure that you comprehend everything correctly. At the end of the day, they want you to be happy.

Be sure to read everything, and if anything is unclear, ask questions. For instance, is the initial quote inclusive of packaging services? Will the cost of moving interstate services change depending on how far and how long the stairs are? Will the items you own spend more time in storage facilities? If you want to move quickly and efficiently, you must ask your agent all of these crucial questions.

Red Flags You Should Look Out For

We all agree that relocation is a complicated process, especially if you are moving your family with you. You would want everything to go smoothly and without any hiccups. Unfortunately, this is not always the case when you book movers who are shady and turn out to be scammers in the end. Not only that they will have all your possessions with them and can blackmail you for those items but they will have all your memories as well. So to avoid being scammed here are the red flags you need to watch out for when interviewing movers for a job.

They Offer Unrealistic Low Quotes

Low quotes may be tempting, and you may think you will move on a budget this way, but in the end, you will end up paying more. What scammers do is give you low quotes, and then, when they place your items on the truck, they change the price. They usually have excuses like they have told you that the price will change, but in the end, you will have to pay extra to get your stuff back.

To protect customers from inflated market rates, FMCSA mandates that any company offering relocation services must offer free in-home quotes. This will enable you to determine the general cost of moving and help you avoid falling victim to fraud. Check out internet reviews of other people’s experiences choosing a low-cost supplier. In order to get their possessions back, the majority of them ultimately had to pay even more.

They Avoid Answering Questions

Movers that avoid answering your questions may not be legitimate. If they are avoiding your questions, they may be trying to hide something. Be sure to ask them about their licensing, insurance, and experience. If they can’t answer any of your questions or try to dodge them, it’s best to find another moving company. A good relocation tip is to have a list with questions ready before you meet with movers.

The Deposit Is Over the Roof

A legitimate moving company will not require a huge down payment or additional deposits. Be wary of any company that asks for more than 25% of the total cost as an upfront fee. When it comes to deposits, be sure to ask the moving company what the deposit is for. Is it refundable? If not, why? Will you be able to get your money back if the move is canceled? These are all important questions to ask before handing over any cash.

There Is No Contract to Sign

If there is no agreement that outlines the details of the move, such as what will be moved and how much it will cost, don’t enter into a business transaction with this company. A contract is important when hiring a moving company because it outlines the expectations and responsibilities of both the customer and the company. Without a contract, there is no way to ensure that both parties will stick to what was agreed upon. This can lead to disputes and problems down the road. A good contract should include specific services, such as car shipping or storage, the cost of those services, the schedule for the move, and insurance.

When Long-Distance Moving, Never Go With a First Choice

It’s important to do your research before selecting a long-distance moving company. There are many reputable and reliable companies out there, but there are also some that may not be legitimate. By taking the time to check reviews and investigate a company thoroughly, you can avoid being scammed or having your belongings damaged in transit.

One way to make sure that you’re choosing a legitimate long-distance moving company is to never go with the first choice. It’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes and compare them before making your final decision. That way, you can be sure that you’re getting the best rate and service possible.

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